Best Air Purifier Plants. Indoor pollution is a big problem in the U.S. there are environmental hazards everywhere from hydrocarbons to polyurethane. These chemicals are found in homes, offices, automobiles and in the earth’s atmosphere! There are also glues, paints, varnishes and many more harmful toxins; too many for me to list here.
Plants to help clean the air
So what can we do to help protect us from these harmful substances? One big answer is plants, yes your average everyday houseplants or outdoor plants will help reduce harmful toxins in the air. Most of us know that plants give off carbon dioxide and they produce oxygen and moisture in our air. Plus, the soil that is in the container also filters out these poisonous toxins.
Which plants help with toxins in the air?
All plants will help clean the air but some do a better job than others. Here is a list of the best plants that help filter the air.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
One of the easiest plants to care for. Grows quickly and is disease and insect resistant. Do will do great in a hanging or upright pot. Little spider plants at the end of each stem.
Dieffenbachia also called the dumb cane plant.
Easy to grow and will grow 4-8 ft. within time. Best if used in a container. This is one of those plants that love the artificial light and will also do good underneath a skylight. Mostly grown and used for indoor use in places where there is freezing temperatures.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The Peace lily is very easy to care for houseplant. It tolerates lots of shade and light. You can almost place it anywhere in a closet close the door and it will continue to thrive! It does like lots of water and humidity. It can also be used as a beta plant to help your fish survive in a water tank.
Snake Plant (Sansiveria)
Also called the Mother in law tongue plant. It’s used as an indoor plant in regions that get freezing temperatures outdoors. It is very easy to grow and rarely needs any attention at all. Place it in a nice looking container for year round interests. It does not like plant fertilizer and thrives in poor soils.
Schefflera (Scheffler spp.)
It loves the bright light and the more light without the direct sun the better. Let the plant dry out before watering again. Place your finger in the soil about 1/2in. in the soil, if it is dry it needs water. Fertilize about once per month during spring, summer, and fall. It likes bright sunlight, especially from artificial lights. When the leaves droop you will know it’s time to water. It is also called the umbrella plant due to its canopy shape.
Ficus Plants (Ficus spp)
The Ficus plants (Moraceae) are in the ornamental fig family. There are numerous varieties from the lowly creepers to the weeping fig plant. Also called the weeping fig. The one pictured below is a variegated ficus. Make sure to place it where it will stay for a long time, as they do not like to be moved. Allow the soil to dry out before watering again. However, do not go too long between waterings as it will turn yellow and drop its leaves.
The Dwarf Banana Plant (Musa acuminata)
This plant will grow to about 4-10 ft. tall. It likes bright natural sunlight. Best to place it in where there is lots of humidity. It will have a hard time growing in a dry cool area. Place it in a small greenhouse or in a shower area. Much better than a living or bedroom area. Keep it where temperatures never drop below 60° F. You can also place it outdoors during humid warm days. Be sure to keep your soil well watered but never soggy.
Pothos (Epipremnum pictum)
One of the easiest houseplant to use. The stems will grow rapidly and will reach about 8-10 ft. in length. You can place in a container or in the ground in places where it never freezes. Also, great in a hanging basket or in a with some type of support. This is the number one plant to help toxins in your home or office.
Arrow Head Vine (Syngonium podophyylum)
A really nice plant to help clean up the indoor air. It does not mind low light so this means it will do great in a hall or dark corner. It will grow up to 2 maybe 3ft. tall and does like regular watering so keep it moist especially during the summer months. The foliage is variegated (two colors) and does not like temperatures below 60° F. This is a houseplant that likes to climb. Use a small trellis or bamboo pole for support.
The Schefflera plant (Schefflera spp)
A very attractive plant with large glossy leaves. The leaf can grow up to 8-10″ long and wide. It does not mind artificial light. It likes the soil to be dried out before watering again. About once per week with water and fertilize about once every 2 months or so for a better-looking plant. The Schefflera plant is a very easy care houseplant and will get large quickly so, give room to grow. If it gets too big to not be afraid to cut it back as it will fill out again in no time at all.
All houseplants are susceptible to insects and diseases. Mealybugs, scale, aphids, mites and fungal disease will attack houseplants. Here are a few tips to help keep your plants healthy and looking good year round.
Keep Your Plants Healthy
- Observe your plants on a regular basis – once a week will do.
- Insects will hide underneath the foliage. Use a magnifying glass for a closer look.
- A good systemic insecticide to kill these pests. Neem oil as an organic alternative. Soap insecticide will also work but it takes numerous applications before it works thoroughly.
- Spray at the first sign of trouble…do not wait. Insects will go to another plant if treated ASAP.
- Throw away a heavily infested plant. Be sure to wrap a plastic container or bag and dump into a trash bin.
- Too much water and shady conditions will make your plant prone to fungus.
- Keep your houseplants away from cold or heat draft exposure.
- Clean your pruning tools with soapy water after pruning plants.
- Always follow water and fertilizing requirements. A stressed plant is more susceptible to diseases and insects.
- Make sure you know where to place your plant. Research or ask your friendly local nursery person for information regarding the care of your plants.
Best Air Purifier Plants
Manby more houseplants here. Indoor Houseplants
Did you know houseplants can help reduce and stress and enhance social health? Read more about how plants help you reduce stress here.
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com